Corporate Office Properties Trust posted Thursday a profit of nearly $7 million in the first quarter, reversing a loss from a year ago.

Last year, the Columbia-based office real estate investment trust lost $18.6 million.

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On a per-share basis, COPT earned 4 cents, compared with a loss of 33 cents a year ago.

"While we continue to operate in a challenging environment, 2012 is starting off well, as evidenced by our quarterly results," said Roger A. Waesche Jr., COPT's president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

The company reported $45.9 million in funds from operations, which is considered the best measure of a REIT's performance. That's up from $14.6 million in funds from operations in the first quarter of 2011.

The company's portfolio consisted of 231 office properties totaling 20.2 million square feet as of March 31.

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